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American optimism about finding good jobs reaches 17-year high

Business
Americans are more optimistic about the availability of good jobs than they've been at any time since 2001, according to a Gallup poll. (Mandel Ngam/AFP Getty Images)

Americans continue to grow more optimistic about the job market during the Trump administration, with the number of Americans who think it is a "good time" to find a quality job reaching its highest mark in 17 years, according to a Gallup poll.

"Americans in all age, income and education groups are decidedly more positive about the job market now than before Trump's election, and as that has happened, the previous major differences by age and education have shrunk or disappeared," Gallup reported.

Gallup first began tracking this statistic in August 2001, asking the question monthly: "Thinking about the job situation in America today, would you say that it is now a good time or a bad time to find a quality job?"

The numbers

According to the poll, 67 percent of Americans believe it's now a good time to find a quality job. When President Donald Trump was elected in November 2016, only 42 percent of respondents felt that way.

Optimism hit an all-time low for the poll in the latter part of former President Barack Obama's first term, dropping to 8 percent as the country recovered from the Great Recession, before rising steadily for the remainder of his presidency.

When this question was first asked in 2001 during the presidency of George W. Bush, 39 percent of people were optimistic about the job market, and it was trending downward in the aftermath of the dot-com bubble burst.

It would continue to drop after the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks. At the end of the Bush presidency, only 13 percent of respondents were optimistic.

Demographics

The high optimism is driven by a sharp turnaround in Republican perspective.

In the three months leading up to the 2016 presidential election, an average of 27 percent of Republicans were optimistic. In Trump's first three months in office, an average of 60 percent of Republicans were optimistic.

Over the past three months, 82 percent of Republicans believe that now is a good time to find a quality job.

Democratic optimism has also increased some during Trump's first term, rising from 47 percent in the first three months of his presidency to 53 percent in the most recent three months.

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